Hereford 4 Winchester 0
Winchester finished their season in 14th place after a disappointing end to the season, when at one point they were in contention for the playoffs.
Nevertheless it was no disgrace to lose to the champions of the division who have won 68 and lost only league games since being reformed. Although a new club in name there is much reference to the likes of former club legends John Charles, Colin Addison, Ronnie Radford and Chris Price around the club.
The match attracted a crowd of 4125, easily the biggest attendance that Winchester have played in front of this season. Winchester themselves made three changes to the starting line-up from Monday with Adam Tomasso, Jamie Ford and Stuart Green coming in and Andy Jenkinson, Joe Hayward and IK Hill dropping to the bench.
With Hereford already crowned as champions there was something of a carnival atmosphere as they celebrated their triumph. Winchester bought a sizeable contingent of fans who sang their hearts out in vocal support of their team, while Hereford fans in the C and D blocks of the main stand were indulging in good natured banter as to who was giving their team the greatest vocal support.
Before the game a guard of honour was formed to acknowledge Hereford's success and this was professionally observed by the Winchester players.
Hereford took the lead in the 10th minute when Jamie Ford was adjudged to have fouled Mike Symons and John Mills converted the resulting penalty. Although there was a bit of pushing and shoving between the players the award of the penalty appeared to be a harsh decision and that view was shared by the majority of the Winchester contingent.
Lewis Noice then did well to tip an effort from the excellent Jimmy Oates round the post for a corner. Winchester then hit the underside of the bar, but Hereford made it 2-0 when Jamie Edge scored from just outside the area after a cross was only cleared as far as him.
Winchester forced successive corners towards the end of the half, but Noice also has to save from Rob Purdie at the end of the half.
In the 57th minute Hereford got the all important third when Oates headed home following a corner. Oates also put in a cross that no-one could get on the end of as Hereford started to play some delightful football, although to their credit Winchester kept battling.
Noice made a good save from Hereford's leading scorer John Mills and substitute Jamie Molyneux also came close. However Hereford did make it 4-0 in the 81st minute when substitute Bradley Williams headed home a cross from Oates who won virtually all of Hereford's player awards for his performances over the season and Hereford certainly looked the team more likely to score in the final 9 minutes.
Winchester manager Craig Davis has showed great enthusiasm in a short space of time as manager of the club and it is hoped that this will bear fruit next season.